Congo

Republic of Congo: Cholera Epidemic DREF n° MDRCG014 ,Operation update n° 1

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Period covered by this update: 12 April to 26 May 2013

Summary: CHF 119,241 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Congolese Red Cross (CRC) in delivering immediate assistance to some 128,200 direct beneficiaries and up to 1.1 million indirect beneficiaries. A second allocation of CHF 9,585 was granted, bringing to the revised total to CHF 128,826. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

Following the November 2012 heavy rains in Pointe-Noire and its surroundings that caused flooding and led to a cholera outbreak, several activities have been carried out by CRC to remedy the situation. These include emergency shelter, provision of basic household items, access to safe water and sanitation.

Although the number of new cases is falling, the incidence remains high and new outbreaks have been reported particularly along the border with Angola and Cabinda. Moreover, this reduction in the number of cases can be mainly attributed to the fact that the rains are subsiding. CRC initiated cholera interventions as part of the Pointe Noire floods operation (MDRCG012) in January and intensified health and water, sanitation and hygiene promotion interventions through this DREF operation. This operation also included within it a review of the cholera interventions built into the floods operation as well as an assessment of the ongoing situation. Based on the detailed assessment carried out by the National Society and IFRC in May, the biggest remaining gaps in the current response to the cholera epidemic (as well as in general) lie in activities related to prevention and immediate curative care.

The recommendations from the assessment point to a need for a longer-term and more strategic intervention to address the needs of both communities affected and those at risk, beyond the scope of this DREF operation and the mandate of DREF in general. Key recommendations include continued with mitigation and risk reduction activities at community level, particularly in the area of social mobilization such as awareness, health and hygiene education, improvement of water and sanitation services, and capacity building of volunteers. In acknowledgement of the ongoing challenges and necessity of this emergency response, this operation will be extended for one month to continue activities in high risk areas while scaling down the operation and monitoring the situation. It also announces a second allocation of CHF 9,585 to allow an extension of the Regional Disaster Response Team member deployment and the organization of a lessons learned workshop to identify best practices and recommendations to be incorporated into both the National Society and IFRC’s longer-term plans.

The Canadian Red Cross/ Canadian government contributed to the replenishment of the DREF allocation made for this operation. The major donors and partners of DREF include the Australian, American and Belgian governments, the Austrian Red Cross, the Canadian Red Cross and government, Danish Red Cross and government, DG ECHO, the Irish and the Italian governments, the Japanese Red Cross Society, the Luxembourg government, the Monaco Red Cross and government, the Netherlands Red Cross and government, the Norwegian Red Cross and government, the Spanish Government, the Swedish Red Cross and government, the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), the Medtronic and Z Zurich Foundations, and other corporate and private donors.

Details of DREF contributions are found on: http://www.ifrc.org/what/disasters/responding/drs/tools/dref/donors.asp IFRC, on behalf of Congolese Red Cross, would like to extend its thanks to all for their generous contributions.